British Values & The Prevent Duty

What is the Prevent duty?

From 1 July 2015 the Prevent Duty became law, this is a duty on all schools and registered early years providers.

British Values are a set of four values introduced to help keep children safe and promote their welfare.

What are British Values?

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

Childcare and Early Years Providers subject to the Prevent Duty will be expected to demonstrate activity in the following areas:

  • Demonstrate that they are protecting children and young people by having robust safeguarding policies.
  • Ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the policies and procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
  • Make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk and to challenge extremist ideas.
  • Expected to ensure children are safe from extremist material when accessing the internet.

As a childcare and early years provider we have a critical part to play. Early years providers serve arguably the most vulnerable and impressionable members of society.

In England, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) accordingly places clear duties on providers to keep children safe and promote their welfare.

It makes clear that to protect children in their care, providers must be alert to any safeguarding and child protection issues in the child’s life at home or elsewhere (paragraph 3.4 EYFS).

So, what does promoting British Values at Russell Street Nursery actually involve and how are we making sure that we are meeting this requirement? Taking each value in turn, here are some of the ways we aim to meet this important requirement:


  • We let children know their views count and encourage them to value each other’s opinions and values. We  help demonstrate democracy in action, for example, by letting children share views on what activity should come next with a show of hands.
  • We provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration.
  • We give children opportunities to develop enquiring minds by creating an atmosphere in our nursery where all questions are valued.

Rule of Law

  • We help and support the children to understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, helping them to distinguish right from wrong.
  • We work with children to create the rules and the codes of behaviour, such as agreeing the rules about tidying up, and also ensuring children understand that the rules apply to everyone.

Individual Liberty

  • We provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example, through allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course and talking about their experiences and learning.
  • We encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand everyone is free to have different opinions.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance

  • We encourage and explain to the children about the importance of tolerant behaviours, such as sharing and respecting each other’s opinions.
  • We promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, by sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences.
  • We provide resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.
  • We create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance within our nursery where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued.
  • We aim to arrange visits whereby children can engage with the wider community.
  • We encourage children to acquire a tolerant, appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures by discussing with them the similarities and differences between themselves and their friends; and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions.
  • We share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences.